Three congregations will be considered for membership in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC) during the annual conference, Celebrate 2010, July 16-20 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The three are Darby Grace Brethren Church, Plain City, Ohio; MISPA Missionary Community Church, Miami, Fla.; and Capital City Grace Brethren Church, Columbus, Ohio.
Darby Grace is a congregation of about 60 people in rural Madison County, northwest of Columbus. The church has been meeting in a rented facility since the summer of 2008. In addition to holding Sunday morning services, there are a variety of opportunities for people to grow in their faith, including several Bible studies for both men and women, and a children’s ministry. A youth group is also being formed and the congregation just began sponsoring missionaries. The church is visible through outreach at the Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades, Plain City Car Show, Christmas Under the Clock, and other events in the community.
The MISPA Missionary Community Church began in February 2007 as an outreach to the Haitian community in Miami. The church has grown to more than 50 members, many who are new converts to the Christian faith. The congregation is led by Pastor Luc Nonorme.
Capital City Grace has been the vision of Larry and Sylvia Totzke, who moved to the Short North district of north of downtown Columbus in 2001 as part of the team from East Side Grace Brethren Church that founded thequest, a Grace Brethren church in the area. The Totzke’s believed God wanted to use them to plant a church to reach the downtown neighborhoods. They were joined by Eric and Julie Miller in 2008 to plant Capital City Grace.
Larry, a licensed pastor, is retired from the Department of Defense, and Sylvia works for the Short North Business Association. Eric is employed full-time as a graphic designer and is the co-pastor with Larry in forming and leading the church. Julie is employed by Communities in Schools, working with families who are at risk of becoming homeless.
Weekly services began in March 2009 at the Arena Grand Movie Theatre. About 25 people consider Capital City Grace their church home. With a theme of “reaching the hearts of the people in the heart of the city,” the congregation is active in outreach in their urban community, such as hosting free movie nights at the theatre.